Flowers tucked in the bodice, an overdose of hair ornaments, and a slightly stylized mouth - it was initially offered me as the portrait of an actress. I think it might well be a young Merveilleuses, instead (c.1795-1799). Either way, it is last quarter of 1700s, when both Vernis Martin and lacquer were popular in the decoration of snuff boxes, and this is a near-pristine example of that material in use. A quite unusual portrait miniature, more to the folk art style of it than subject. I've often wondered if this one might have been a self portrait or family artist portrait. An unusual interpretation of the more typical very realistic artist renderings of the era. Of interest for that and that the young woman shows her interest in culture - music, flower arranging, fashion. Very slightly 'off', and all the more charming for it. Yes, found in France. Measurements are noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. It's a bit more typical for lacquer boxes (layered on wood) to have some chips or breaks, but this one is superb. The lining inside is the typical thin natural shell. I have not taken this one apart and also have not tested the gold mat. If gold, it is a lower karat than usual. Convex cover glass is undamaged and in place and has protected this unique painting perfectly.
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